23 Aug 2014
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Belleville and Nutley - The Week in Review

Recycling, taxes and a new support group

Belleville and Nutley - The Week in Review

Busy last week and missed all the Belleville & Nutley news that's fit to be posted?  Here's a quick rundown of the week’s stories:

Belleville and Nutley to Save in Local Property Taxes Next Year.  Belleville Township will save $280,167 in 2013 as part of a series of pension reforms signed into law last year.  Nutley Township will save $205,734.  The cuts are thanks to the reforms agreed upon by the New Jersey legislative bodies and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in June 2011.  The bill, aimed at increasing contributions to health benefits and pension payments for public employees, makes various changes to the manner in which the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), the Judicial Retirement System (JRS), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS)  Belleville employees will pay an additional $70,927 into their pension fund next year, while the township's police and firefighters will pay $209,240.  In addition to the township's employees, Belleville Board of Education employees will pay an extra $54,649.  In Nutley, employees will pay an additional $82,530 into their pension fund next year and the township's police and firefighters will pay $123,204.  Board of education employees will pay an extra $68,840.

Nutley Plans Support Group for Unemployed Residents.  The Nutley Board of Commissioners said Tuesday night they are reaching out to unemployed residents with a support group, while the board also approved three other major items.  The commissioners will allow a fiber optic company to install cables in parts of town, approved a salary for a new recreation superintendent that will save approximately $40,000 and approved the purchase of a new fire truck for $310,000.  Commissioner Steven Rogers said the Public Affairs Department’s plan to assist unemployed Nutley men and women experiencing tough times they are facing, providing knowledge, shared experiences, networking and peer counseling.  Rogers said he hopes the support group run by public affairs employees forms a strong network of job leads and mutual positive reinforcement.  The group will focus on improving resumes, sharing interview strategies, and networking employment opportunities, he said.  Unemployed residents interested in joining the group can call the Department of Public Affairs at 973-284-4976 or email   atedesco@nutleynj.org.

Belleville Police Charge Man with Armed Robbery.  Belleville police have charged a man with armed robbery, a crime for which he was already in custody in Middlesex County, a department spokesman said Monday. On Oct . 5 at 5:40 pm, a man driving a Pontiac pulled into the Mobil station at 95 Washington Ave., Lt. James Giuliano told Patch. After asking for a fill-up, the motorist got out of the car and pulled a gun on the attendant, demanding cash. The robber made off with $550, Giuliano said. The car was found the following day in Philipsburg.   Three days later, on Oct. 9, a Belleville detective read a story on  NJ.com about the arrest of Carl Murray, 27, of Philipsburg, who was charged with the robbery of a gas station in South Plainfield. Murray was also a suspect in the Belleville robbery, Giuliano said.   Murray, who was in the MIddlesex County jail, was later identified in a lineup by the Belleville gas station attendant, Giuliano said. He faces robbery and weapons charges.

Man Threatens Nutley Police Officer with Knife.  Police responded to a Franklin Avenue apartment complex around 10:30 am Oct. 6 on a report that a man attacked a resident of the complex. While police were speaking to the suspect, 46-year-old Dragos Chihaia, he pulled out a steak knife concealed in the back of his pants, then raised it over his head, threatening an officer with it, Nutley police said.  The officer persuaded Chihaia to lower the knife, then arrested him on assault and weapons charges. He was taken to a psychiatric facility in East Orange for evaluation.  

.  Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli invites Nutley residents and neighbors to bring their unused DVD’s, CD’s, plastic CD/DVD cases (jewel cases), and VHS tapes for recycling to the Greenutley Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 21st from 9am to 1pm in Municipal Parking Lot #1, William Street.  “The Department of Public Works and Greenutley understand that as technology changes the public has more and more of these items in storage with no environmentally friendly way of discarding them,” said Scarpelli.  “Our goal is to keep these hard-to-recycle items out of the landfill while working with innovative companies that can recycle these items that are deemed obsolete to us.”  Commissioner Scarpelli added that over 90% of today’s techno trash is not being recycled according to GreenDisk, the company that will be recycling our items.

Enter to Win Patch’s Best Halloween Costume in America Contest.  It doesn’t matter if you’re Lady Gaga or Lady Liberty for Halloween—if you have an awesome costume, showcase your creation in our Best Halloween Costume in America Contest.  Last year, the headless boy from Wyckoff, NJ, won. This year, it could be you. Enter our contest for a chance to win the $5,000 grand prize!  Adults and children are eligible to enter. Parents can post costume photos of themselves and their families from this Halloween or from years past.  Click here for information and contest rules.  The contest runs from Oct. 15 to Nov. 1. National judges will choose 21 finalists from  each Patch state and select one grand prize winner based on who has the most creative and innovative costume (we've combined North Carolina & South Carolina for this contest, as well as Washington D.C. and Virginia). Each state finalist will receive $250 and one grand prize winner will receive $5,000.

Belleville Students Take a Peek at a Small World.  Eighth graders at Belleville Middle School recently had the chance to enjoy some close-up looks of the natural world via microscope, examining specimens including a slide of human brain cells. Using the document camera, teacher Tammy Retkwa was able to project the image of the onion cell onto the Smartboard.   

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